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Husband Balks After Wife Doesn’t Want Him To Support His Pregnant Sister While She Gives Birth

A man and woman in a delivery room
Isbjorn / Getty Images

Context and perspective can change the entire point of a story.

We wind up with very different stories.

In this case, the context of the situation changed the whole point of the tale.

The issue facing our Redditor and Original Poster (OP) was that he was forbidden by his wife from being in the delivery room with his sister for the delivery of her first child.

The added context?

He needed to be gone for a month… as she lived across the country.

The OP did delete their account but not before taking their issue to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment first.

He asked:

“AITA For Insisting That I Be There When My Sister Gives Birth When My Wife Doesn’t Like It?”

OP began with some background.

“I (40m) have a younger sister ‘Beth’ (28f) who’s due to give birth in a couple of weeks in another state.”

“Unfortunately, her jerk of a husband is divorcing her, and our mom is caring for our dad after he had his second heart-related surgery.”

“Beth was crying to me one night on the phone about how alone she feels after her best friend had to back out of being in the delivery room due to a family emergency, and our sister couldn’t get the time off of work from her job overseas.”

“Beth said that her doctor told her that they may have to do a C-section, and she was panicking.”

He made her an offer.

“I let her cry about it for nearly an hour, and then Big Brother mode kicked in, and I offered to fly out and support her.”

“It was something I did without any real thought, but I meant it because this was my baby sister, and she was going through a rough time and told me she was scared.”

“I have the type of job where I can get permission to work from home, and since I’m well-liked and respected in the office, my boss was willing to let me do this provided that my work performance isn’t impacted.”

“My sister sounded so relieved when I told her the good news, and everyone in the family was giving me the preverbal pat on the back.”

Which is where the problem came in.

“The only one who wasn’t happy was my wife ‘Kim’ (37f), who told me that I needed to stay here for the kids and that Beth can either find someone else or do it alone.”

“My kids ‘Cody’ (13m), ‘Chelsea’ (10f), ‘Connor’ (7m) all know that their aunt is going through a tough time and needs help and said that they were fine with me leaving for a while.”

“Kim insisted that the kids were lying and didn’t want me to go, and I said that even if it was true, I was still going because Beth needed me and that I would make it up to the kids later.”

“This caused a fight between us, and in the heat of the moment, Kim admitted that she didn’t want me to go because she thought that it was weird for an uncle to be present at the birth.”

This revived an old issue between the OP and his wife.

“This brought up old wounds for me since I was denied access to the birthing room for all three of my children as Kim only wanted her mom and sister there.”

“In truth, Beth’s baby will be the first and possibly the only time I’ll ever get to see a baby be born live, and Kim doesn’t like it.”

“I snapped back with the aforementioned births of my children and said that if Kim didn’t want me to go so bad, then she can call Beth, my parents, and my sister and explain it all to them because there was no way I was going to break Beth’s heart when she needed family most.”

OP was left to wonder:

“Kim is now saying that I’m TA, so am I?”

Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided: ESH

Some thought this was a deeper issue.


“She can have her sister present at all of her births, but when you are there for your sibling, it’s suddenly weird?”

“Your sister needs someone for support, and I think it’s a great idea for you to be there for her.” ~ Smol_succulent

“I’m convinced it’s the gender. Ok, for a sister to attend, but not a brother.”

“She didn’t let her own husband (OP) attend the birth of their three children.” ~ Fatigue-Error

“I get that some women might not want to have men present while giving birth, but it just seems off to me for her to make that decision for another woman.”

“(Who really wants her brother to be present for support).” ~ Smol_succulent

“I think OP’s wife is sexist.”

“She just doesn’t think men should be allowed in the delivery room, and she’s using her children as an excuse for the real reason she doesn’t want him to go.” ~ [deleted]

It was the timeframe that seemed to hurt OP the most.

“N T A.”

“Your wife thinking that it is weird for an uncle to be present for the birth of their niece/nephew is not reason enough for your sister to go through this experience alone.”

“Your sister has already had so many people revoke their offers of support. To have you do so would cause a lot of unnecessary stress.”

“I say this every time, but it is always better to discuss it with your partner before making a decision.”

“It doesn’t mean that you have to abide by your partner’s preference, but it is important for your partner to feel included in the decision-making process.”

“You’re a team. Not two soloists.”

“However, there are times when that just isn’t possible.”

“I can understand how, given the nature of your call with your sister, you made a decision without your wife.”

“Wishing your sister and the baby the best of luck!”



“A month, OP.”

“You are leaving for a month and failed to check with your wife first.”

“Convenient that you left that out of your original post, almost like you knew the verdict would have been completely different if you were honest.” ~ Cactus_deluxe


“Not for being there for the birth. I think that’s lovely to support your sister.”

“But leaving your wife with three children for a minimum of 2 weeks, most likely a month, without her agreement is unreasonable.”

“Putting the pressure on your 13-year-old in your absence is unacceptable.”

He is a child, and those children are your responsibility, not his.”

“Whilst your wife’s reasons for not being with your sister at the birth are so very strange and frankly unhealthy, you are literally dumping all parental & household responsibility on your wife for a extended period of time.”

“This is going to impact your marriage and your children if you don’t rethink your approach.”

“You have gotten the children’s approval to leave, but not your wife’s approval to be the sole parent for a month. That’s so wrong.” ~ Ok-Macaron-6211

OP did return with some further information.

“Here is some additional information since people are starting to ask”

“I don’t know all the details yet, but Beth told me that a C-section is a strong possibility.”

“I believe the average recovery rate for a C-section is about a month, so I am prepared to stay that long to help my sister out, but hopefully, my mom or other sister can take over two weeks post-birth.”

“As previously stated, I got permission to work remotely and I have a lot of PTO saved up, so there will be no loss of money.”

“My flight is two weeks from now, and I paid for the ticket(s) out of my own personal checking account.”

“Beth STBX (Soon to be Ex) convinced her to move to the opposite coast, so she doesn’t have anyone she’s close to that can help her out.”

“All of my children are over the age of 5 and don’t have any special needs.”

“No Beth’s STBX will not offer any type of support that isn’t court mandated because six months into the pregnancy, he decided he was childfree and is angry that Beth wouldn’t agree to adoption.”

“Beth does want to move back, and we (my parents, other sister, and me) are going to help her after she healed up enough from the birth.”

The OP also touched on finding a compromise.

“I completely understand the ‘let’s compromise’ approach, but my wife doesn’t want me going at all, and there is no way she’d agree to let Betty and the baby stay with us until she’s healed up even if we had a spare room.”

“Also, yes the plan is to help Betty move back to our side of the country after she’s given birth.”

“Doctor doesn’t recommend she travel right now, plus she wants to use the same doctor who’s been following along with her during her pregnancy.”

The context of a story – whether we’re talking fiction, non-fiction, or an argument with a friend – can change the whole outcome.

In this case, it altered a simple story of boundaries into a much more complicated problem.

Be careful not to assume the context before you start, or you might find yourself on the wrong end of a plot point.

We wish the entire family well during the birth and following weeks.

Written by Frank Geier

Frank Geier (pronouns he/him) is a nerd and father of three who recently moved to Alabama. He is an avid roleplayer and storyteller occasionally masquerading as a rational human.